Dancers' Career Development and The Royal Ballet School

On Thursday 29 May 2014 Dancers' Career Development announced a pioneering partnership with The Royal Ballet School designed to broaden its curriculum to develop happy, confident, motivated professional dancers who are prepared for professional life.

Credit: Schuhlelewis.com

The first of its kind in the UK, this ground-breaking new partnership demonstrates The Royal Ballet School's visionary and practical approach to safe-guarding its student's welfare beyond their time at the School and the ambitious and pioneering leadership of Dancers' Career Development on the subject of dancer transition.

Dancers' Career Development works with students in the final three years of study at The Royal Ballet School (ages 16 to 19). They are given an Introduction to Transition in Year One and in Year Two, students participate in visits to Dancers' Career Development beneficiaries working in diverse careers. They have the opportunity to meet and network with current and former professional dancers, including some of Dancers' Career Development's 1,800 beneficiaries.

In the Graduate Year, students learn about the practicalities of Transition and the Transition Support Services provided by Dancers' Career Development.

Christopher Powney, Artistic Director of The Royal Ballet School:

'This exciting new partnership will be particularly valuable in giving students a forum to think more broadly about a future beyond their careers as dancers. Dancers' Career Development will give them the support they need to understand how the life skills they learn during their training will one day serve them in other disciplines'

This unprecedented initiative will support dance students at a key time in their personal development. Through the programme, students are encouraged to consider a wider view of the world around them and to recognise the transferable skills they have developed through their training.

Kevin O'Hare, Director, The Royal Ballet:

'I am delighted that The Royal Ballet School and Dancers' Career Development are working together for the benefit of the students and their life-long careers. The Royal Ballet is a proud supporter of Dancers' Career Development and it is pleasing to know that both students of The Royal Ballet School and the dancers of the Company are fully supported to recognise their unique talents, skills and abilities'

Tony Dyson, Former Chairman, Dancers' Career Development:

'We are delighted to be working with The Royal Ballet School on this pioneering new partnership. As a world leader in dancer transition, Dancers' Career Development welcomes the opportunity to engage with the students of The Royal Ballet School, supporting the dancers of the future to be fully prepared for their performance careers and beyond'

The Royal Ballet's First Soloist, Itziar Mendizabal, with first year students from The Royal Ballet School

If you are a school interested in DCD providing a similar programme for your students, or for more information, please contact Jennifer Curry, Executive Director.Tel: 020 7831 1449. Email: jennifer@thedcd.org.uk

Learn more about The Royal Ballet School.

"Brilliant! I am so pleased that something like this is happening for the students and that it's integrated into their training pre-career. It will really help them I know it!’ Wish that we had had that when I was an RBS student, but very glad to know it’s happening now"

Toby Norman-Wright, DCD Beneficiary. Toby is a former student of The Royal Ballet School and former dancer with DCD Contributing Company Birmingham Royal Ballet. Toby is a DCD supported Clore Fellow and has successfully choreographed, directed and managed dance projects. Toby is now a Relationship Manager, Dance at Arts Council England.

Feedback from students at The Royal Ballet School

"I learned about myself and the qualities I have, and I discovered qualities I can develop."

"I was made aware of the variety of career paths available when I have finished dancing."

"The skills we need to get (dance) jobs are quite similar to other jobs, which is so interesting."

"I learnt how to evaluate my skills."

"It expanded my knowledge of the skills I have now."

"I learnt about the overlap of dancers' skills and skills for the other jobs in other industries."

"I have learnt how to enjoy every moment of our career as a dancer, even if everything doesn't go as planned."

"I learned that dancers have many qualities that can be transferred into many other jobs."

"It helped me to expand my knowledge of other jobs and careers in the world outside of dance."

"I learned how many qualities you have and others that you can develop."

"I learned that from one starting point you can take many different routes."